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Heartland Motorsports Park to Host its Final NHRA Event in August 2023

Heartland Motorsports Park has announced the hosting of its last and final NHRA National Event in Topeka, Kansas, on August 11-13, 2023. After 34 years of thrilling races and unforgettable moments, this iconic event will bid farewell to the fans, racers, and supporters who have made it a resounding success year after year.

Since its inception in 1989, Topeka’s NHRA National Event has become a staple in the State of Kansas, drawing motorsports enthusiasts from all over North America. Heartland Motorsports Park has been the proud home of this prestigious event, witnessing some of the most extraordinary world records set in professional drag racing. For over three decades, the park has worked tirelessly to make the NHRA National Event a standout on the motorsports calendar, contributing to the community and state’s economic growth.

However, regretfully, this will be the final NHRA National Event hosted in Topeka, as the future of Heartland Motorsports Park has been cast into uncertainty. The property owner, Shelby Development LLC, believes that Shawnee County’s exorbitant land valuation and property taxes are forcing Heartland out of business. The County’s efforts to overvalue the property and levy nearly $1,500 per day in property taxes have taken a toll on the park’s financial sustainability.

Shelby Development LLC initiated an eleven-count lawsuit against the County Appraiser years ago, alleging manipulation of appraisals and withholding of crucial documents. Despite these challenges, Heartland and Shelby have always believed in paying their fair share of taxes. Still, the burden of taxes amounting to nearly 400% of market value has become untenable, making it increasingly difficult for Heartland to continue operations.

Heartland Motorsports Park and Shelby Development LLC express immense gratitude to the NHRA and its numerous sponsors, as well as the racers, their support crews, the dedicated fan base, and the countless vendors who have supported the NHRA National Event over the years. Their unwavering support has been the backbone of this iconic racing event, and their passion for motorsports has made it a beloved tradition in the heartland of the nation.

The last NHRA National Event in Topeka, Kansas, promises to be an emotional and unforgettable occasion. Heartland invites everyone to join in making history and saying farewell to this legendary event. Let’s celebrate the legacy of NHRA racing and the achievements of extraordinary racers like the iconic John Force, who has left an indelible mark on the Topeka National Event.

To ensure that fans have the opportunity to be part of this historic event, all area Menard’s stores are offering a special promotion of “buy one and get the second ticket free” for single-day tickets. Heartland Motorsports Park encourages fans, enthusiasts, and motorsports lovers alike to seize this chance to witness the last NHRA National Event in Topeka, an event that will be etched in the annals of racing history.

Heartland Motorsports Park and Shelby Development LLC remain committed to exploring every possible avenue to ensure the park’s future, but they cannot deny the challenges posed by the excessive tax burden imposed by Shawnee County.

This story was originally published on July 28, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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